Marwan Farouk, a consultant surgeon at Buckinghamshire England, has recently been struck off the medical register after mistakenly cutting off a patient’s testicle and “chucking it” away in a medical bin.
According to the decision report published by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service, Dr Marwan Farouk, who was simultaneously working for The Shelburne Hospital, The Paddocks Clinic, Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, and The BMI Chiltern Hospital where the incident took place, removed the entire testicle of a 60-year old patient during a routine laparoscopic operation for removal of epididymal cyst and repair of a bilateral hernia in 2014.
After the surgery when the medical staff asked the surgeon to send the removed tissue to a histology laboratory, he declined and asked them to “chuck it”. Dr Farouk ended up putting it in the medical bin himself and later came back to retrieve it where he found that nurses had already removed the tissue from the bin.
He also failed to update the operation notes of the fact that he had removed any tissue from the patient’s testicle. Instead, he noted it as “TEP bilateral hernia repair and right hydrocele. Lords procedure.”
Dr Farouk did not stop there — on a post-operative consultation, he failed to inform his patient about the accidental removal of the testicle but said that he [the patient] had a small right testicle which was not something to be worried about as it would not cause any problems.
The patient, whose identity was not disclosed, testified at the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service in Manchester that the surgeon made it sound as if the difference existed before the surgery which made the patient suspicious and forced him to consult his GP.
He said, “It was memorable for a 60-year old man to be told he had a small testicle.”
Dr Farouk erred again and wrote to the patient’s GP stating some tissue in the testicle was damaged during the surgery, which had been removed. He implied that the findings were confirmed by histology reports.
During the debacle, the nursing staff had already informed the hospital administration of the situation and an official inquiry had begun along with a referral to the General Medical Council.
The doctor, a resident of Wendover, had previously worked for National Health Service (NHS) for the past two years without any such incident. He had emigrated from Iraq but had received qualification for surgical practice in the United Kingdom in 1983.
Dr Farouk, when asked by the tribunal about the removal of the patient’s testicle, said that he did not recognize the specimen as a testicle. He also said that he was in hurry at the time of the surgery and was not concentrating or thinking properly.
The tribunal rejected this argument on the basis that an experienced surgeon like him would have recognized the sample for what it was after just a cursory examination. The two week-long tribunal went on to say there was additional evidence that the surgeon had picked up the sample and examined it before disposing it.
According to the decision report, “The tribunal considers it highly improbable that you did not recognize it as a testicle.”
The findings also concluded that Farouk deliberately tried to mislead the patient and left an inaccurate account of the events.
Brian Alderman, the chairman for tribunal, on the fact that the surgeon tried to retrieve the testicle from the bin, said that it was probably “an ill-judged attempt to rectify the situation”.
The surgeon was represented by Mr George Hugh-Jones, QC, during the proceedings of the confidential inquiry.
However due to his “unclear and evasive” oral testimonial, clinical misconduct, and dishonesty, he was removed from the registry. Dr Farouk has 28 days to appeal the decision.
The medical registry is a list of all medical practitioners registered with the General Medical Council. A doctor cannot practice medicine in United Kingdom without being registered in the list.